January 21, 2016 Jim recontextualizes Foley’s image by Daniele Alcinii


Brian Oakes‘ name has swirled around the film and documentary world for more than a decade. The New York-based Oakes has been linked to such projects as Inequality for AllFreakonomics and Bobby Fischer Against the World as a motion graphics designer, but his feature doc debut only came in November 2014, when he started work on a profoundly personal project.

The impetus behind Oakes’ Jim: The James Foley Story came three months earlier when he witnessed his childhood friend, American photojournalist James “Jim” Foley, clad in an orange jumpsuit and publicly executed by a masked ISIS fighter on August 19, 2014.

The doc, from New York production outfit Kunhardt Films, will enjoy its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday (January 23), followed by a February 6 television broadcast on HBO, which acquired the film earlier this month. It offers an intimate glimpse into the life and legacy of the 40-year-old GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse journalist, who was kidnapped by the Islamic State extremist group in 2012 and held captive for two years.